Microsoft ADC, PSI and AMREF Team Up to Train the Next Generation of Digital Health Experts.

Microsoft ADC, PSI, and AMREF Health Africa have joined forces to address the growing need for training in the rapidly developing field of digital health. In an effort to keep up with the pace of digital health advancements, the organizations have collaborated on Game of Learners, a five-week hackathon aimed at fostering the development of technology solutions that improve access to primary healthcare.

The hackathon brought together over 80 students from 11 African countries including Kenya, who were tasked with creating innovative digital solutions to overcome challenges in healthcare systems across the continent. These challenges include limited access to quality care due to insufficient infrastructure, a shortage of healthcare professionals, inadequate access to essential medication, low health literacy, and poor health-seeking behavior.

Microsoft ADC, AMREF Health Africa, and PSI provided participants with comprehensive training on various aspects of the healthcare system, principles of digital development, user-centered design, customer acquisition for digital health solutions, and health financing.

The winning solution, “Jambo Care” developed by Team Ruby, is a digital platform that translates local dialects into English or Kiswahili. This technology aims to facilitate remote diagnosis by enabling doctors to understand patients’ symptoms more easily.

According to Wycliffe Waweru, Head of Monitoring at PSI, Game of Learners is a significant step in a broader capacity-strengthening initiative. The collaboration seeks to leverage the skills of innovative thinkers graduating from African learning institutions to create home-grown digital health solutions.

The hackathon demonstrated that collaboration between healthcare professionals, innovators, and educational organizations can lead to a more coordinated and integrated approach to healthcare innovation, investment, and delivery. Such collaboration enables the sharing of expertise, resources, and best practices, ultimately resulting in improved healthcare outcomes for individuals worldwide.

Kitawa Wemo, Innovations Lead at AMREF Health, emphasized the need to invest in collaborative innovation programs like the Game of Learners Hackathon. This investment is crucial to equip healthcare professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to design, develop, and implement effective digital health solutions that cater to the specific needs of local communities. By doing so, progress towards equitable and accessible healthcare for all can be accelerated.

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